Every few years it seems the political compass flips around. You may recall following Barack Obama’s re-election, petitions were placed on the White House petition website supporting secession for Texas and several other states. While petitions ultimately went up for all 50 states, only the Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas petitions gathered the requisite number of signature to garner an official response. Someone even started a petition to deport those favoring secession, though that petition did not specify where they would be sent.
The official White House response to the secession petitions stated, in part, “Our founding fathers established the Constitution of the United States ‘in order to form a more perfect union’ through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. They enshrined in that document the right to change our national government through the power of the ballot… But they did not provide a right to walk away from it… more than 600,000 Americans died in a long and bloody civil war that vindicated the principle that the Constitution establishes a permanent union between the States.”
In short, “people died so therefore you can’t do it.” People also died in the American Revolution, which was a war in favor of colonial secession, but to those opposed to secession that is somehow different. Human bloodshed does not determine what rights a person has, but I digress.
Earlier this year the Texas Nationalist Movement attempted to place an initiative on the Republican primary ballot, but the state GOP put a halt to that. The Christian Science Monitor reports, “A Reuters poll from 2014 [showed]: Secession gained support from more Republicans than Democrats that year.” Now a group in California, partially inspired by the June Brexit vote in the UK in which British voters decided to leave the EU, is planning to petition for what they’re calling a Calexit. If it gathers enough valid signatures, the Calexit proposal would have two votes. The first vote would be on the 2018 general election ballot “that if passed would call for a special election for Californians to vote for or against the independence of California from the United States” in the spring of 2019.
A group in Oregon initially stated their intentions to petition for the Beaver State to secede, but withdrew their initiative two days later. Only time will tell if those who supported secession during the Obama Presidency will continue to support the idea during Trump’s, or what will happen with Calexit, Oregone, the Second Vermont Republic, NHexit, or any of the other secessionist movements popping up across the country.
As a supporter of self-determination, I support all people who seek to declare independence, and now that secession is no longer being seen nationally as simply a right-wing issue, I feel vindicated that it was a key plank of my Presidential campaign.